This workshop begins to consider rebels’ strategic use of talk and tactical non-violence during civil war, not as a substitute for violence (non-violent campaigns, non-violent protests) nor exclusively for those civilians over whom rebels exercise authoritative control (rebel governance). All contributing scholars recognize that rebel diplomacy can confer a number of strategic benefits to rebel groups, including external support, international networks, access to economic resources, and formal recognition and legitimacy. They seek to explore the ways in which these factors interact with local-level conditions such as the rebel strength, rebel governance of civilians, and conflict resolution. Each project helps peace research to move toward capturing these important events and behaviors in a more rigorous way, whether through the collection of novel data, detailed case studies, deep archival work, interviews, experiments, or mixed methods. In doing so, the workshop and articles produced from it further our understanding of a range of specific issues pertaining to rebellion, including secessionism, rebel legitimacy, the role of economic endowments in conflict, rebel social networks, and rebel participation in international ceasefire negotiations. Collectively, the special journal issue produced from this work establishes rebel diplomacy as a central feature of violent rebellion, rebel groups as participants in international politics, and rebels’ nonviolent tactics as consequential to battlefield dynamics and outcomes.

Workshop Participants​

Benjamin Acosta

Benjamin Acosta is an assistant professor at IDC Herzliya. His research areas include resistance organizations and political violence, revolution, democratization, and identity politics and demography of the Levant. He often combines large-n data analyses with ethnographic research or rich historical analyses. Acosta has sole-authored articles in the Journal of Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, the Middle East Journal, and Middle East Quarterly. Acosta is the book review editor for the Journal of the Middle East and Africa.

Acosta earned a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont and held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Political Science Department at The Ohio State University. He also studied at the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut. Acosta has conducted extensive field research in Lebanon, investigating the relationship between various collective identity groups and representative militant organizations.

Samuel E. Bestvater

Samuel E. Bestvater is a Ph.D. student in Political Science and Social Data Analytics at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests center around contentious politics, social movements, and civil conflict, with a methodological focus on computational research, big data, and social media applications for social science research.

Jori Breslawski

Jori Breslawski is pursuing her Ph.D. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Her research investigates conflict processes in the context of local and international dynamics, and engages with topics of identity, institutions, and transnational networks. Her work has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and Terrorism and Political Violence. Her research has been supported by the World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship from the Smith Richardson Foundation as well as the Dean’s Research Initiative at the University of Maryland.

Reyko Huang

Reyko Huang is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. She is the author of The Wartime Origins of Democratization: Civil War, Rebel Governance, and Political Regimes (Cambridge University Press). Her research examines rebel governance and diplomacy, wartime popular mobilization, and conflict and democratization, and has appeared in International Studies Quarterly and International Security. Huang holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She was previously a Zukerman Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace.

Joseph (“Joey”) Huddleston

Joseph (“Joey”) Huddleston finished his Ph.D. at USC in May 2018, and is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. He teaches courses on international security, Middle Eastern politics, and research design and directs the Middle East specialization in the Master’s program. His work focuses on international sovereignty of secessionist, separatist, and self-determination movements, particularly when and how third-party states help and hinder separatist groups apart from diplomatic recognition. He also has a series of articles aimed at improving survey experimental design in political science, including a forthcoming article on the topic in the Journal of Experimental Political Science.

Zachariah Mampilly

Zachariah Mampilly is Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Vassar College. He is the author of Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (with Adam Branch), Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War, and Rebel Governance in Civil War (co-edited with Ana Arjona and Nelson Kasfir).

Fiona B. Adamson

Fiona B. Adamson is an Associate Professor (Reader) of International Relations at SOAS, University of London. Her research interests include international migration, diaspora politics, transnationalism, religion and security. Adamson has published in International Security, European Journal of International Relations, International Migration Review, International Studies Review, Journal of Global Security Studies, Current History, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Studies Perspectives, Cambridge Review of International Affairs and Political Science Quarterly. She is a contributor to numerous edited volumes, and has co-edited a Routledge series on Security Governance. Dr. Adamson is co-convenor of the London Migration Research Group (LMRG) and sits on the editorial boards of the American Political Science Review (APSR) and European Journal of International Relations (EJIR).

Adamson received her PhD from Columbia University and BA from Stanford University. Prior to joining SOAS, where she served as Chair of the Department of Politics and International Studies (2010-13), she was Director of the Program in International Public Policy at University College London (UCL). Fiona was a Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2015-17 and has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, Stanford University, Humboldt University in Berlin and University of Basel, Switzerland.

Jessica Maves Braithwaite

Jessica Maves Braithwaite is an assistant professor of political science in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Her research examines the causes and consequences of civil conflict and state repression. She leads two major data collection projects: one on the foundational organizations of rebel groups in civil wars, and another on the organizational characteristics and network structures of anti-government resistance campaigns. Dr. Braithwaite’s work has been published in various academic journals including Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and Conflict Management and Peace Science. Braithwaite received her Ph.D. (2013) and M.A. (2010) from Penn State University, and a B.A. (2008) from Iowa State University.

Bridget L. Coggins

Bridget L. Coggins is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research is at the intersection of domestic conflict and international relations, including studies of secessionism, insurgency, terrorism, maritime piracy, refugee flows, and illicit trafficking. Coggins’ first book is Power Politics and State Formation in the 20th Century: The Dynamics of Recognition (Cambridge 2014). She has two current research efforts. One examines the international security consequences of state collapse, anchored by a book tentatively titled Anarchy Emergent: Political Collapse and Non-Traditional Threat in the Shadow of Hierarchy. The other explores rebels’ strategic use of diplomacy in civil war. Coggins work on these and other topics appear in Foreign Policy, International Organization, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Global Security Studies, and North Korean Review. Coggins was an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations in South Korea (2013-2014) and is an Adjunct Fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Korea Chair.

Cyanne E. Loyle

Cyanne E. Loyle is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, interim director of the PELIO program at the Ostrom Workshop, and a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Loyle’s current research focuses on transitional justice adopted during and after armed conflict. This research includes fieldwork in Rwanda, Uganda, Nepal, Northern Ireland, and Turkey. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Norwegian Research Council, and the US Institute of Peace and published in venues such as Conflict Management and Peace Science, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Human Rights, and Journal of Peace Research. Additional information can be found on her website:

Marika Sosnowski

Marika Sosnowski is a PhD candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and an admitted lawyer. Her research, with Dr Bart Klem, focuses on how ceasefires impact local dynamics and statebuilding. Over the past five years, she has worked as a researcher on a number of development projects in the Middle East including with communities in Syria that aimed to engage local council, police and judicial actors. She has also written about the region for numerous publications and is a regular media commentator.

Workshop Schedule


  • 7:00-9:00 Breakfast (Lobby)
  • 9:00-12:00 Session I (Conference Room)
    • Reyko Huang & Benjamin Acosta
    • Zachariah Mampilly
    • Jori Breslawski
    • Bridget Coggins
  • 12:00-1:30 Lunch Break @ SB Public Market 38 West Victoria (at Chapala), 93101.
  • 1:30-4:30 Session II, Conference Room
    • Marika Sosnowski
    • Joey Huddleston
    • Cyanne Loyle & Sam Bestvater
    • Jess Maves Braithwaite
    • Fiona Adamson
  • 4:30-5:30 Break/Happy Hour
  • 5:45-7:45 Dinner


  • 7:00-9:00 Breakfast (Lobby)
  • 9:00-10:00 Wrap-up/Future Scheming (Patio)
  • Departures

Page Editor

Graduate Student Researcher at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies
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